packing tips for international travel

packing tips for international travel

Over 70 million Americans traveled internationally between January and September of 2018.

International travel is a wonderful learning adventure. But if you’ve never done it before, make sure you pack the right things for your trip!

Packing right can make your trip smooth and hassle-free.

Are you planning an international trip soon? Take a look at these 8 essential packing tips for international travel.

A Sturdy Passport Holder and a Current Passport

There are so many travel adventures waiting for you!

Don’t get to the airport only to realize you forgot your passport. Worse yet, your¬†passport is valid, but the country you’re going to won’t let you in because it’s expiring in a month.

Many countries won’t let you in if your passport is expiring within six months of your arrival date. So stay on top of your passport’s expiration date. Renew early if you’re planning international travel.

Your passport is one of the most important things you’ll bring on an international trip. Don’t lose track of it. A sturdy passport holder that goes around your neck is best.

Most passport holders also hold other valuables too, such as credit cards, cash, and your cellphone. If it’s around your neck, it’s unlikely to get lost or stolen.

Light-Weight Quick-Drying Clothing and the Right Accessories

If you’re going to a cold climate, you’ll need warm clothes. But they can still be light-weight layers that dry quickly. If the climate is warm, take light-weight fabrics.

Remember a sweater for evenings and air-conditioned places.

Be mindful of the country you’re visiting.¬†Many people in other countries expect modest dress, especially from women.

If you’re touring the Cathedrals of Rome, you must wear long pants or a skirt below the knees. And no sleeveless tops. Carry a shawl you can put over your shoulders and arms.

And please, no cleavage.

Depending on the country you’re visiting, you may need a headscarf. Carry a neutral-colored scarf that doubles as a stylish accessory or a head covering.

Roll up a nice broad-brimmed hat. It’ll protect your head and face from the sun. And don’t forget a good pair of sunglasses.

Bring a comfortable swimsuit and a quick-dry towel.

Towels aren’t always provided in some parts of the world. You’ll be glad you have a small towel if there aren’t any available.

A Broad-Spectrum Antibiotic and First-Aid Kit

If you’re on medication, take extra in case of flight delays on the return trip. Consult a travel doctor before your trip.

Make sure you’re up to date on any necessary immunizations.

Ask your doctor about a broad-spectrum antibiotic in case of intestinal problems. Trying new foods is fun but sometimes it doesn’t work out for your stomach.

Vomiting and diarrhea are a serious problem if you eat the wrong food and can’t get to a doctor while traveling.

There are many travel-size first-aid kits available. Pick up one with an antibiotic ointment and bandages. Throw in a few over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and an anti-diarrheal.

If the anti-diarrhea fails, that’s when you’ll use the antibiotic your doctor gave you!

Good Pair of Walking Shoes

A good pair of walking shoes is a must for any international traveler. It’s nice to have fashionable footwear, but don’t sacrifice your feet for it!

You’ll do a lot of walking on your travels. Don’t hobble yourself with blisters and sore feet.

You might think you’ll only be at the beach if you’re visiting a seaside town like Cinque Terre in Italy. But beware, the pathways between the villages are more rugged than you’d think.

Do you want a hefty fine? Officials in Cinque Terre are now fining tourists who get stuck on the hillsides due to flimsy footwear!

Leaving the tennis shoes behind is tempting. They take up a lot of room and they aren’t always stylish. But don’t give into temptation. Include a good pair of walking shoes.

Solid Shampoo Bar and Small-Size Toiletries

Your liquids must fit in a quart-size clear plastic bag. And each bottle has a 100-ml (3.4 ounces) limit.

A solid shampoo bar is great. It lasts your whole trip and doesn’t take up space for other liquids.

Buy a special travel toiletry kit before you go. They’re affordable, and you can find them in many stores.

A Universal Power Adaptor and a Hotspot

Don’t get to your international travel destination without a good universal power adaptor. Chances are, the plugs won’t be the same as the plugs you’re used to.

Charging your phone, Kindle, and other accessories is impossible without access to electricity.

Consider bringing your own mobile hotspot too. This way you won’t stress about data costs and roaming fees.

Travel Insurance

Most people don’t want to think about travel insurance. But if you’re taking an international trip, it’s a good idea. Several companies offer affordable travel insurance plans.

The insurance covers everything from trip cancellation to medical emergencies. You can choose a plan that only covers last-minute cancellation expenses. Or choose a plan that covers emergency medical costs.

You’ll have peace of mind on your trip if you know you’re covered. And the medical insurance often includes assistance services in an emergency.

Don’t Forget the Sunscreen

This may seem like a small thing but it’s important. Sunscreen isn’t always easily available, depending on the country you’re visiting. But a bad sunburn ruins a fun trip.

Don’t let sunburn pain ruin yours. Repeated sunburns also cause skin cancer. Bring a handy long-lasting stick of sunscreen for face and shoulder protection.

Try These Packing Tips for International Travel

Now that you’ve got eight great packing tips for international travel, where are you going?

No matter where you go, the most important thing is your passport. Make sure it’s up to date and won’t expire for at least six months after your arrival.

Throw in some lightweight clothes and accessories. And don’t forget a sturdy pair of walking shoes. Visit the travel doctor for appropriate immunizations and medications.

Pick up some travel insurance for peace of mind. Got your first-aid kit, sunscreen, and a power adaptor? You’re all set!

Enjoy your international trip. And before you go, check out our travel guides here!

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